Australian & New Zealand Horror News
So wasabi is a lot of fun, isn’t it? Like an explosion in your nose … Anyway, let’s see what’s happening in the land of Drop Bears and Taniwha.
Here’s Greg Chapman:
Midnight Echo 14 is upon us, and the AHWA is proud to announce that Deb Sheldon is onboard to guest edit this representative of all things good about Australasian horror writing. Deb’s themed issue of “Things are not as they seem” will open to submissions from July 30 to August 31, and she is seeking only the best for this edition of Midnight Echo. To know more about the editor, we have a brief bio to introduce her and prepare you to make the most of the submissions window.
Deborah Sheldon is an award-winning author from Melbourne, Australia. She writes short stories, novellas and novels across the darker spectrum. Her titles include the noir-horror novel Contrition, the bio-horror novella Thylacines, the collection Perfect Little Stitches and Other Stories (Australian Shadows “Best Collected Work 2017”), and the creature-horror novel Devil Dragon. She has a novel, a collection, and a novella forthcoming in 2019. Her work has been shortlisted for numerous Aurealis Awards and Australian Shadows Awards, long-listed for a Bram Stoker Award®, and included in “best of” anthologies. Other credits include TV scripts, feature articles, nonfiction books, and award-winning medical writing.
Full submission details can be found at https://australasianhorror.com/midnight-echo/.
And to interrupt usual AHWA proceedings for a bit, Silvia Brown, the AHWA’s Mistress of Ceremonies (and new Copy Editor for the IFWG team; congrats, Silvia!), wanted us to know that the video feed for the Australian Shadows ceremony is now available via https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1rvNHhyTrKU.
The ceremony was hosted live at Continuum on 8 June 2019 by MC Silvia Brown, the current Australian Shadows Coordinator and AHWA committee member. And just to remind everyone, the winners and shortlist are available here: https://australasianhorror.com/australian-shadows-awards/2018-awards.
This news is a few months old but is quality and needs mentioning. It’s great when a charity anthology really does some good in the world, as is the case here.
The following is from the Sanctuary Australia Foundation: “We would like to thank Steve Dillon and all contributors to The Refugee Collection fundraiser. Steven generously offered to fundraise for Sanctuary and so far, they have raised a fantastic amount of $1065 through online sales and $250 from an auction. This money will go towards providing an interest-free airfare loan to assist a Syrian refugee family to be reunited in Sydney after being displaced by the horrors of war.” [https://www.sanctuaryaustraliafoundation.org.au/2016/05/16/the-refuge-collection/]
[Steve has informed me that he’s since raised over $4000, which is bloody superb.]
“The Refuge Collection is a collection of  dark, supernatural, and terrifying tales set in and around the mythical town of Refuge, where every house is different, and so are the people who live there. People seek Refuge for all sorts of reasons, sometimes without recalling why or how they arrived. Leaving is a different matter. The town is often described by those who live there as ‘Heaven to Some, Hell to Others.'”
Published between 2015-2017 and featuring stories by Ramsey Campbell, Kaaron Warren, Lee Murray, Paul Kane, and more, the two-volume set can be found on Amazon.
The Refugee Collection Volumes 1-3: Heaven to Some … https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0994592205/
The Refugee Collection Volumes 4-6: Hell to Others! https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0994592221/
And remember, all profits will be donated to Sanctuary Australia Foundation and Refugee Action UK. As Steve says, The Refugee Collection is “a way for fictional horror stories to help victims living real-life horror stories.”
This is wonderful stuff. Congratulations, Steve, and all contributors to The Refugee Collection.
Down in Tasmania, there was a fascinating workshop held on July 27. Called “Writing in the Age of Extinction,” it was presented by James Bradley and Jane Rawson. From the Web site: “Catastrophic climate change, mass extinction, and the de-wilding of the world are all inescapable facts of life, so why are they so rarely seen in novels? James Bradley and Jane Rawson draw on their experience of writing eco- and climate-fiction to provide exercises, guidance, and research tips for writing environmentally aware fiction for yourself.”
Check out https://www.detached.com.au/extinction for the details, and keep an eye on Detatched for further interesting events.
There was also an interesting article in the Sydney Morning Herald recently on the same topic. Called “How climate anxiety is changing the face of Australian fiction” (https://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/books/how-climate-anxiety-is-changing-the-face-of-australian-fiction-20190619-p51z44.html), Broede Carmody examines the rising popularity and importance of climate change in fiction. “It’s not a coincidence there are so many dystopias around or that we keep telling stories about zombies and the undead, or even time travel stories,” he says. “They’re all expressions of a larger sense of a future that’s slipping out of our control.” [James Bradley, from the article]
And while we’re on interesting articles, CrimeReads posted one regarding 10 classic Australian gothic novels to make you shiver: https://crimereads.com/australian-gothic-literature/.
The list includes And the Ass Saw the Angel by Nick Cave, Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay, My Life as a Fake by Peter Carey, Black Juice by Margo Lanagan, and more.
On September 28, Jason Fischer will run a workshop titled “The Long Shadow of Tolkien.” “Join Jason Fischer for a deep-dive into Tolkien’s fantasy works, exploring his wide influence on fantasy storytelling. Participants will also get an overview of the future of genre writing as it finally wriggles loose from Tolkien’s long shadow. Second breakfast is not provided.” For more details, go to http://jasonfischer.com.au/upcoming-writing-workshops/.
One of Australia’s best speculative fiction writers, Terry Dowling, will host a one-day course on “World Building: Writing Speculative Fiction” at the Writing NSW centre (Lilyfield, NSW) on October 20. Full details on the course, including how to register, can be found at https://writingnsw.org.au/whats-on/courses/world-building-writing-speculative-fiction/.
The table of contents for New Zealand’s first-ever year’s best anthology has been announced: Aotearoa New Zealand Science Fiction & Fantasy (Paper Road Press). Edited by Marie Hodgkinson, the anthology collects the very best short SFF published by Kiwi writers in 2018 and will be published in paperback and e-book formats in November 2019. Cover art is by Emma Weakley. [It says Science Fiction and Fantasy on the cover, but they were open to horror stories during the reading period, too.] The full table of contents can be found at https://paperroadpress.co.nz/years-best-aotearoa-new-zealand-science-fiction-fantasy-volume-I/
Tales to Terrify (https://talestoterrify.com/) have recently released a couple of podcast episodes featuring Stoker nominees Kyla Ward (episode 387, where you can listen to Kyla’s “And in Her Eyes the City Drowned” as read by Emily Strand) and Lee Murray (episode 388: “Dead End Town” as read by Heather Thomas). Also, check out episode 374 with Bryce Stevens and Australia’s King of the ghost story, Rick Kennett.
For those uninitiated with Tales to Terrify: “Since 2012, Tales to Terrify has curated the best short horror fiction from established and emerging writers, and turned each story into simple, spine-tingling audio.”
Robert N Stephenson has launched a Kickstarter for an all-new horror anthology tentatively titled Mors Erat Ignoto (An Unknown Death) – stories of loss and the unknown.
Here’s Robert: “After 22 years in the writing industry, I realised I had never published an all-horror anthology. While it has been in my mind, it has never had the impetus to form into a tangible project. It was after a tragic house fire where a dear friend lost everything she owned that I realised the one true horror that faces us all—the sheer terror of loss and the inescapable walk into the unknown.
“Mors Erat Ignoto (name may change to Serbian version) or An Unknown Death is an anthology of horror stories that explore this theme in a direct or indirect fashion. We are all at one time faced with this fear; it may never come to the surface, but sometimes something happens that brings you back to the reality that one day it will.”
Check out the Kickstarter page for full details: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1716583090/horror-anthology-2020
As part of Melbourne Rare Book Week 2019, Dr. Lucy Sussex discusses The Mystery of a Hansom Cab and Sisters in Crime on YouTube: https://tinyurl.com/y44voddw.
The Mystery of a Hansom Cab by Fergus Hume is an international bestselling mystery novel first published in Australia in 1886. [Hume self-published the first edition of the novel.]
“When a man is found dead in a hansom cab one of Melbourne’s leading citizens is accused of the murder. He pleads his innocence, yet refuses to give an alibi. It falls to a determined lawyer and an intrepid detective to find the truth, revealing long kept secrets along the way.” [From Goodreads]
The other part of Lucy’s fascinating chat relates to Sisters in Crime, an organization founded ‘to celebrate women’s crime writing on the page and screen and bring a collective critical eye to the field.’ From the Web site: “Launched at the Feminist Book Festival in Melbourne in September 1991, Sisters in Crime in Australia was inspired by the American organisation of the same name, which was founded in 1986 by Sara Paretsky (creator of Chicago PI VI Warshawski) and other women crime writers at the Bouchercon crime convention.”
For more information: https://www.sistersincrime.org.au/.
Some new Aussie/Kiwi releases to keep an eye out for:
Quiver (Argonautica Press) by Jason Fisher: https://argonauticapress.com/?product=quiver-by-jason-fischer
Grimdark Magazine #19 (https://amzn.to/2XdsrkB), featuring tales from Trudi Canavan, Alan Baxter, and Lee Murray, plus an interview with Geoff Brown of Cohesion Press.
Dimension6 issue 17, featuring stories by Jason Fischer, David Levell, Peter Ninnes, and Mark T Barnes. Available for free download as an e-pub or mobi (for Kindle) file from http://ow.ly/LyCH30azLHk.
From Hell by Greig Beck (https://greigbeck.com/portfolio-items/from-hell/?portfolioID=94)
Dark Winds Over Wellington: Chilling Tales of the Weird & the Strange by Tabatha Wood (https://www.amazon.com/Dark-Winds-Over-Wellington-Chilling/dp/1091121168)
Missions from the Extinction Cycle Volume 2 (Great Wave Ink Publishing), featuring Amanda J Spedding and Geoff Brown, amongst others (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07STX2MTJ/)
A Place for Sinners (Poltergeist Press) by Aaron Dries (https://www.amazon.com/Place-Sinners-Aaron-Dries/dp/1913138003)
Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Was Not (IFWG Publishing Australia) edited by Christopher Sequeira (https://ifwgpublishing.com/title-sherlock-holmes-and-doctor-was-not/).
Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine (ASIM) #75 (https://andromedaspaceways.com/product-category/current-issue/)
If you’re an Aussie or a Kiwi and have horror news, or know of horror-related events or gatherings or anything else at all, let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll include it here.